New England

May, 2001
Regional Report

Transplant Ground Covers


Ground covers such as vinca, pachysandra, and ivy can be divided and transplanted now to create new beds or enlarge existing ones. Preferably on a cloudy, cool day, with a sharp shovel or trowel, separate offshoots from mother plants and transplant them into a shady new location. Keep well watered.

Pick Peas


Begin harvesting peas as the pods fill out. Waiting too long allows the flavor to become starchy. English and snap pea varieties should be harvested when the pods are firm when squeezed. Snow pea varieties can be harvested at any size.

Control Cucumber Beetles

Young cucumber, melon, and squash plants are easy prey for cucumber beetles. As the seedlings grow, these yellow-striped or yellow-spotted beetles emerge to feed on the foliage. The beetles also spread bacterial wilt disease. To control them in a small planting, suck them up with a portable vacuum cleaner or spray beneficial nematodes on the soil and plants to kill them.

Thin Apples

Apple trees are notorious for setting more fruit than they can support. Usually the tree relieves this burden by dropping some young fruit in what\'s called the \"June drop,\" but you may have to thin in addition to this natural drop. Try to leave 6 inches between fruits, so they can develop to their full size and sweetness.

Prune Lilacs


After lilacs finish flowering, prune off the old blossoms. To reduce the height of the shrub, prune the old stems to the ground and allow new suckers to grow and flower. Prune all at once, or gradually taking one-third of the old stems out over a three-year period.

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